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Embarking on the journey of an international career is an adventure, but what happens when the storm of family negativity threatens to dampen the dream? Being the rock-solid support for a friend in such turbulent times is no easy task. In the face of conflicting advice, your role becomes important. Families often act out of fear and protection, which is normal, but when those actions obstruct a dream, it’s time for support. Let’s dive into a kind approach, using the power of the 4 R’s and the essential dos and don’ts that can be the guiding light for both you and your friend. Let’s navigate this storm together and set sail towards that dream career abroad!

The Friend’s Role: Utilizing the 4 R’s Approach


  1. Refrain from Reacting Impulsively: Before responding to your friend’s situation, pause, breathe deeply, and consider their perspective. Practice empathy to understand their emotions fully.
  2. Resist Giving Direct Answers: Instead of a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, redirect the conversation to explore other aspects of the opportunity. This avoids a sense of desperation and gives room for a more nuanced discussion.
  3. Reject Misery Magnetism: Steer away from solely focusing on negative family experiences. Encourage your friend to seek advice from those with positive international career stories.
  4. Avoid Rushing Decisions: Remind your friend not to be overly demanding in their job search. Encourage patience in evaluating what they truly need and want.


  1. Rassure – Offer Reassurance:
    • Remind your friend that it’s normal to feel uneasy about working internationally.
    • Express your ongoing support and reassurance that they are safe and can rely on you.
  2. Reflect – Encourage Thoughtful Consideration:
    • Before offering your perspective, encourage your friend to reflect on their family’s viewpoint.
    • Ask questions using real-life scenarios to gauge their ability to handle intercultural challenges.
  3. Redirect – Avoid Direct Confrontation:
    • Instead of a direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’, guide your friend towards exploring various aspects of the international opportunity.
    • Redirect the conversation to maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere.
  4. Relax – Foster a Relaxing Atmosphere:
    • Ensure you convey a calm demeanor to create a relaxed environment.
    • Avoid crossing arms, maintain an open posture, and speak in a calm tone to influence a positive emotional state.

Sharing my personal experience and joining a coaching program can clarity and a personalized action plan. As a supportive friend, your role is important. It’s easier said than done yet don’t let doubts and advice blind your friend.

Take the time to share with your friend this article. Was this checklist helpful for you as a supportive friend? Let’s discuss and exchange ideas!  Without regret.


 Source: Psychology Today (Andrew E. Budson M.D.)